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What does a kid do when it just won’t stop? Kevin Burns has had enough. Today, the bullying stops. Today, he has easy access to his father’s gun cabinet. Today, Kevin exacts his revenge. “You think I’m small? Maybe I am, but my gun is huge . . . Size does matter—the larger the gun, the larger the . . .” Jake Tracey’s phone buzzes. It’s a text from his brother, Kenny. Where ar What does a kid do when it just won’t stop? Kevin Burns has had enough. Today, the bullying stops. Today, he has easy access to his father’s gun cabinet. Today, Kevin exacts his revenge. “You think I’m small? Maybe I am, but my gun is huge . . . Size does matter—the larger the gun, the larger the . . .” Jake Tracey’s phone buzzes. It’s a text from his brother, Kenny. Where are you? English class. Stay there. Someone has a gun. Lock the door. Bloomfield, Michigan, an affluent Detroit area suburb, is home to trial lawyer Zachary Blake. Other school districts envy Bloomfield, that is, until Kevin Burns commits shocking, all too familiar, acts of senseless violence. In the aftermath of the tragedy, everyone wonders ‘why?’. Zack Blake seeks answers, justice for the victims, including his own son. How does a kid get a cache of weapons? The sellers are politically powerful and cover up their role in the bloodbath. The 2nd Amendment protects them, doesn’t it? And President Ronald John, Zack’s old nemesis, is a friend. Can powerful evildoers be brought to justice? Can Zack expose a dark web weapons conspiracy and the abuse of absolute political power in court? How does a broken community heal? In Betrayal High, a Zachary Blake legal thriller, award-winning author/attorney Mark M. Bello answers these questions and more in this fifth installment of what many readers are calling the country’s best courtroom drama series. Prepare to get Betrayed . . . again.


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What does a kid do when it just won’t stop? Kevin Burns has had enough. Today, the bullying stops. Today, he has easy access to his father’s gun cabinet. Today, Kevin exacts his revenge. “You think I’m small? Maybe I am, but my gun is huge . . . Size does matter—the larger the gun, the larger the . . .” Jake Tracey’s phone buzzes. It’s a text from his brother, Kenny. Where ar What does a kid do when it just won’t stop? Kevin Burns has had enough. Today, the bullying stops. Today, he has easy access to his father’s gun cabinet. Today, Kevin exacts his revenge. “You think I’m small? Maybe I am, but my gun is huge . . . Size does matter—the larger the gun, the larger the . . .” Jake Tracey’s phone buzzes. It’s a text from his brother, Kenny. Where are you? English class. Stay there. Someone has a gun. Lock the door. Bloomfield, Michigan, an affluent Detroit area suburb, is home to trial lawyer Zachary Blake. Other school districts envy Bloomfield, that is, until Kevin Burns commits shocking, all too familiar, acts of senseless violence. In the aftermath of the tragedy, everyone wonders ‘why?’. Zack Blake seeks answers, justice for the victims, including his own son. How does a kid get a cache of weapons? The sellers are politically powerful and cover up their role in the bloodbath. The 2nd Amendment protects them, doesn’t it? And President Ronald John, Zack’s old nemesis, is a friend. Can powerful evildoers be brought to justice? Can Zack expose a dark web weapons conspiracy and the abuse of absolute political power in court? How does a broken community heal? In Betrayal High, a Zachary Blake legal thriller, award-winning author/attorney Mark M. Bello answers these questions and more in this fifth installment of what many readers are calling the country’s best courtroom drama series. Prepare to get Betrayed . . . again.

30 review for Betrayal High

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jin

    I have mixed feelings with this one. I really love reading legal thrillers and I still regularly read them (John Grisham has been one of my favourite authors since ever). Some parts of the book definitely deserves 5 stars! I really loved the back and forth between Zachary Blake and Kenny or Barrington and his "entourage". I was also positively surprised by the epilogue because normally, they would just be boring, disclosing nothing new but this one wrapped up the story nicely. Furthermore, the b I have mixed feelings with this one. I really love reading legal thrillers and I still regularly read them (John Grisham has been one of my favourite authors since ever). Some parts of the book definitely deserves 5 stars! I really loved the back and forth between Zachary Blake and Kenny or Barrington and his "entourage". I was also positively surprised by the epilogue because normally, they would just be boring, disclosing nothing new but this one wrapped up the story nicely. Furthermore, the book was not just a regular disturbed-teenagers-shooting-school-disaster but it shed light on this terrible incident from different aspects. I loved the involvement of high level institutions and other parts without being too exaggerating, and another plus point: it didn't have this typical overwhelming American heroism which I really liked. But I had a hard time to get into the story in the beginning. I couldn't connect to Kenny, Jake and their mother at all, their discussions and dialogues felt artificial and distant. The writing for Kenny got better in the end but I felt that he was still too cagey compared to the other characters in the story. Whenever Kenny and his friends were not in a chapter, I really liked the writing so much more and I kind of feel sorry for that. Betrayal High is definitely a good read for all fans of a good, fast-paced legal thriller. I really enjoyed reading this and I'm looking forward to the next Zachary Blake case! **I received a free copy of this book via Making Connections for leaving an honest review. The thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.**

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy

    This was a very touching story of a teenager being bullied, (to me it seems like it was a documentary told in a story form). The story has great details. I was able to feel what Kevin was feeling and side with him. I may not agree with what he did, but I understand.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Genelle Themann

    This story could have been ripped from the news, and is more unnerving because of that. Is a mass school shooter just an evil kid, or is there something more involved. And how did a teenager get his hands on so much firepower. Grab yourself a big bowl of popcorn and settle in for an uncomfortable look into the underbelly of America in crisis. It shook me to even consider the possibility of this happening, and I think it will do the same for you. The author does a great job in showing the opposin This story could have been ripped from the news, and is more unnerving because of that. Is a mass school shooter just an evil kid, or is there something more involved. And how did a teenager get his hands on so much firepower. Grab yourself a big bowl of popcorn and settle in for an uncomfortable look into the underbelly of America in crisis. It shook me to even consider the possibility of this happening, and I think it will do the same for you. The author does a great job in showing the opposing sides, their legal arguments, their lack of remorse, and the greed involved. Great story!! I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    This is my first time reading anything by this author, the cover picture and title caught my eye and then the blurb convinced me to read the book. This is an emotional subject and one that stirs up a lot of heated conversation and so I applaud the author for the way in which he addressed it. The plot and the characters all have great depth and emotion to them. I found this to be an awesome read. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Pallavi Sareen

    Even though I do love to read books on sensitive topics, it is very rare to come across such books especially in the fiction genre. The California shooting shook everyone to the core. Shooting, inside a school, a place which we often associate as a safe space for learning and personality development can be beyond traumatic. Mark M. Bello deals with this theme in his book Betrayal High. The book delves into the story of a school shooting in Michigan as told from different point of views to unders Even though I do love to read books on sensitive topics, it is very rare to come across such books especially in the fiction genre. The California shooting shook everyone to the core. Shooting, inside a school, a place which we often associate as a safe space for learning and personality development can be beyond traumatic. Mark M. Bello deals with this theme in his book Betrayal High. The book delves into the story of a school shooting in Michigan as told from different point of views to understand it. It goes beyond one-dimensional news stories, as the creative freedom of novels allows and creates the same atmosphere for the reader.  I must say, it was terrifying.  The initial chapters which introduced us to the various characters Kevin and Kenny had such different narration which immediately allowed the reader to understand the difference between a chaotic mind that had too much going on and a sane one. But I didn't like the fact that the book began immediately with the action. I would rather understand the characters beforehand and get a glimpse of the circumstances that led up to it. But what it does deal with is the aftermath, which is no less consequential. The trauma that such an incident leaves on the mind of everyone, even the ones not directly impacted is immeasurable. I saw Kenny struggle with his mental health despite being the hero of the situation and it felt so realistic.  “Kevin did not believe he was going to survive the shooting, did he?” “No, he didn’t. He was shocked he survived. He planned to use a homemade bomb and two powerful automatic weapons to kill as many ‘bullies,’ as he refers to his victims, as he could. The legal battle is all the more exhausting to read, as they are exhausting to experience but at no point in the book did I feel like it wasn't worth it. Given the experience I had, I would love to read more book by Mark. So, I would definitely recommend picking this up. 

  6. 4 out of 5

    S.L.

    “Betrayal High” is the latest book in the Zachary Blake Legal Thriller series by Mark M. Bello. The series engages readers in current issues relevant to social justice in America. “Betrayal High” tackles bullying, school shootings, and the ongoing political debate around the Second Amendment of the Constitution. Kevin Burns seeks justice and revenge as the result of relentless physical and emotional abuse by his school peers. His retribution leaves several students and one teacher dead, with num “Betrayal High” is the latest book in the Zachary Blake Legal Thriller series by Mark M. Bello. The series engages readers in current issues relevant to social justice in America. “Betrayal High” tackles bullying, school shootings, and the ongoing political debate around the Second Amendment of the Constitution. Kevin Burns seeks justice and revenge as the result of relentless physical and emotional abuse by his school peers. His retribution leaves several students and one teacher dead, with numerous others critically injured. Kenny Tracey, a fellow schoolmate, is shot in the leg while trying to stop Kevin before he does any more harm. Did I mention, Kenny is trial lawyer Zachary Blake’s son? Zach handles the civil cases for the families of the victims – cases against Kevin’s family, the school system and a powerful gun manufacturer, Barrington Arms. Zach soon discovers foul play reaching the highest political offices of our country in an exciting courtroom drama you will not be able to put down once you start reading. Full review here: https://www.readerviews.com/reviewbel...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Reader Views

    “Betrayal High” is the latest book in the Zachary Blake Legal Thriller series by Mark M. Bello. The series engages readers in current issues relevant to social justice in America. “Betrayal High” tackles bullying, school shootings, and the ongoing political debate around the Second Amendment of the Constitution. Kevin Burns seeks justice and revenge as the result of relentless physical and emotional abuse by his school peers. His retribution leaves several students and one teacher dead, with num “Betrayal High” is the latest book in the Zachary Blake Legal Thriller series by Mark M. Bello. The series engages readers in current issues relevant to social justice in America. “Betrayal High” tackles bullying, school shootings, and the ongoing political debate around the Second Amendment of the Constitution. Kevin Burns seeks justice and revenge as the result of relentless physical and emotional abuse by his school peers. His retribution leaves several students and one teacher dead, with numerous others critically injured. Kenny Tracey, a fellow schoolmate, is shot in the leg while trying to stop Kevin before he does any more harm. Did I mention, Kenny is trial lawyer Zachary Blake’s son? Zach handles the civil cases for the families of the victims – cases against Kevin’s family, the school system and a powerful gun manufacturer, Barrington Arms. Zach soon discovers foul play reaching the highest political offices of our country in an exciting courtroom drama you will not be able to put down once you start reading. There are so many impressive things to say about “Betrayal High.” First, the storyline is compelling and heart-wrenching. There are no winners in this scenario, but a series of devastating circumstances leading many to their breaking points. Though a fictional tale, the harsh realities of life in this 21st century really hits readers with tough, thought-provoking, soul-searching questions. What do we do about the ever-increasing instances of bullying? How do we keep guns from getting into the hands of children? How many school shootings do we have to incur as a society before people in power do the right thing? What does the Second Amendment have to do with weapons of mass destruction? When are we going to hold gun manufacturers, the NRA, and politicians to task? Whichever side of the coin you are on with any of these issues, “Betrayal High” has “food for thought” to offer everyone, through its candid, brutally honest message. The writing is brilliant and leaves the reader thirsty for more. I got so worked up while reading I wanted to highlight just about every sentence to go back to and contemplate at a later date. The characters are equally impactful. Their thoughts, actions, motivations – every character trait provides genuine, well-rounded development. With Kevin for example, you experience the full gamut of emotions. My heart ached for him when I learned the extent of the abuse he suffered, I experienced fear as he went on his shooting spree, was angry at him for taking matters into his own hands and finally, felt sorry for him as he faced the consequences of his actions. One of his quotes will stay with me for some time: “Prison provides me a safer environment than my community school ever did. How is this possible?” We have truly failed our children when they feel safer in prison than at home or at school. Kenny Tracey is another character that leaves an inspirational imprint on readers. This young man is a humble hero and wants to get guns out of the hands of people like Kevin. He starts an organization of young first-time voters giving politicians the option of doing the right thing or be voted out of office in the next election. His determination and strength in the face of adversity provides hope for the future. He says, “We’re kids. We don’t have all the answers, but sometimes we feel like we’re the only adults in the room.” Touché, Kenny. Touché. I loved everything about “Betrayal High” and highly recommend it to fans of legal and courtroom drama depicting current and relevant societal issues. I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of the Zachary Blake series by Mark M. Bello! Well done!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cair-Paravel De Loulay

    Zachery Blake is back. This time, he plays second fiddle to his oldest son, Kenny. Kenny and Jake, the younger son, are both in high school. High school, for most people, is not the funnest place to be at times.  For their friend, Kevin, high school was akin to hell on earth. One fine day, Kevin decides that enough is enough and he is going to a little housekeeping. After a little training, he heads to school and kills nine people. Kevin's plan is rather interrupted when Kenny makes his move, get Zachery Blake is back. This time, he plays second fiddle to his oldest son, Kenny. Kenny and Jake, the younger son, are both in high school. High school, for most people, is not the funnest place to be at times.  For their friend, Kevin, high school was akin to hell on earth. One fine day, Kevin decides that enough is enough and he is going to a little housekeeping. After a little training, he heads to school and kills nine people. Kevin's plan is rather interrupted when Kenny makes his move, getting shot in the process. This kind of changes the end result and Kevin ends up in jail. Zachery Blake then takes centre stage as he proceeds to prosecute Kevin for his conduct. This is only the first layer to peel aside. Zach also intends to prosecute the gun company as well. Only when he begins to dig deeper does he realise how deep the rabbit hole really goes. It also exposes him and his family to some very dangerous and motivated enemies who would like to clean up a few loose ends.  Mr. Bello, in his fifth Zachery Blake novel, delivers a wonderful combination of high school activism and danger, political intrigue and courtroom drama. The story is well conceived, imbued with reality and carries through to a satisfying conclusion. It is sadly rather relevant in today's day and age. At least in this story, you know justice will prevail in the end.  I am volunteering a review for the benefit of others."

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Betrayal High by Mark M. Bello is the 5th in the Zach Blake series. While I have not read the first 4, I did not have any issues reading this one as a stand alone. A young man living with parents that pay no attention to him, a school where he doesn't fit in, and tormented by bullies. All leading to a school shooting that could have possibly been avoid if someone just cared enough. I enjoyed reading this book, although it was less about the high school shooting (maybe about 1/3 of the book) and Betrayal High by Mark M. Bello is the 5th in the Zach Blake series. While I have not read the first 4, I did not have any issues reading this one as a stand alone. A young man living with parents that pay no attention to him, a school where he doesn't fit in, and tormented by bullies. All leading to a school shooting that could have possibly been avoid if someone just cared enough. I enjoyed reading this book, although it was less about the high school shooting (maybe about 1/3 of the book) and more about gun laws and going after the gun company and other bad people. I also found 2 new quotes that I love. I am definitely going to have catch up with the series, and am looking forward to the next one. "There is no love without forgiveness and there is no forgiveness without love." - Bryant McGill "When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is far stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free." - Catherine Ponder Thank you to BookSirens for the free digital ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. All opinions are my own.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lenor

    I couldn’t put it down, this book hits too close to reality. Mark M Bello makes an amazing job with two of the most critical topics in 2020, gun control and bullying; the story starts with Kevin Burns, a boy who has had enough of bullying; and in an act of desperation commits acts of violence. And this time the hero once again is the amazing Zack Blake, who is looking for the answers and reasons why Kevin Burns might commit such actions. The story manages to understand the victims, the perpetrato I couldn’t put it down, this book hits too close to reality. Mark M Bello makes an amazing job with two of the most critical topics in 2020, gun control and bullying; the story starts with Kevin Burns, a boy who has had enough of bullying; and in an act of desperation commits acts of violence. And this time the hero once again is the amazing Zack Blake, who is looking for the answers and reasons why Kevin Burns might commit such actions. The story manages to understand the victims, the perpetrator and all the reasons behind these actions and the way each of the characters understand the situation. Fiction but a great story that puts on stand the true reasons of gun control, bullying and the social connection that exists as a community.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jana

    Mark M. Bello chose a current topic. But what is new is that he wove a thrilling story around it. This novel deals with such an important, terrible and current topic. The book combines U.S. American history with current politics - although the name of the president is changed. I could see parallels to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida in 2018 and the movements in its aftermath. The book deals well with all parties involved and shows why there are regular school shootings in the U.S., esp. Mark M. Bello chose a current topic. But what is new is that he wove a thrilling story around it. This novel deals with such an important, terrible and current topic. The book combines U.S. American history with current politics - although the name of the president is changed. I could see parallels to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida in 2018 and the movements in its aftermath. The book deals well with all parties involved and shows why there are regular school shootings in the U.S., esp. in contrast to pretty much all other countries. The story succeeds in building up suspense through the personal points of views of the protagonists. It is this constant change of perspective that gives an insight into what all parties think - the shooter, the victims, the protesters, the gun lobby ... and it shows that not everything is black and white. The one thing I didn't like was that the whole story is narrated in present tense. This might be personal preference, but I found it weird and it prevented me from a very good reading experience. The novel is part of a series. Although I do not know the other parts, this was not a problem for me at all to understand everything that is going on. I recommend this book to everyone who wants to engage more with the topics of U.S. gun laws and school shootings. Esp. high school students can learn a lot through this fictional story and it might be easier to start with a novel. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    John

    I just finished this book, the 5th story in the Zach Blake series. As in all of his other books, this story will grab you right away. The case involves two subjects which intersect in this story: Gun Violence and Bullying. Zach gets involved with the case of a school shooting because his son Kenny was injured while attempting to stop future killings. This case really has 2 parts, one criminal and one civil. The criminal cause is well done and presents a clear rationale by Kevin the shooter why he I just finished this book, the 5th story in the Zach Blake series. As in all of his other books, this story will grab you right away. The case involves two subjects which intersect in this story: Gun Violence and Bullying. Zach gets involved with the case of a school shooting because his son Kenny was injured while attempting to stop future killings. This case really has 2 parts, one criminal and one civil. The criminal cause is well done and presents a clear rationale by Kevin the shooter why he did what he did. The interaction between Keven and his attorney Charlie, was one where Kevin asserted his rights and objected to the defense that Charlie wanted to use. Kevin wanted to get his message across to the public which he was able to do in the end. The 2nd case which was Civil had Zach representing all of the parties that were injured in the shooting. Zach suit was filed against the shooter, his parents and in addition to the School System and the Gun Dealers and Manufactures of the weapons involved. It was quite interesting to watch Zach work through the preliminaries taking depositions from the various individuals involved. It also displayed the type of individuals who supported Zach in gather all the background elements that would assist him with his questioning. This group was really exceptional in ferreting out exactly who the responsible parties were for the attempted murder of Zach's son Kenny. This brought a entirely new complexion to the case and showed how far individuals were willing to go to protect their illegal business activities. In order for you to find out exactly what the attempted murder incident involved and how Zach was able to settle his cases, then you must read this book. You won't be disappointed. In addition you will get a snippet of Mark's next book in the series to whet your appetite.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Pegboard

    Betrayal High is the fifth book in the Zachary Blake Legal Thrillers, and Mark M. Bello again writes about topics that hit close to home. Kenny Tracey faces someone more harmful than the priest that abused him, but a fellow student who’s had enough and settles the school bullying with firearms. Out of fear for his son and a call for justice, Zack Blake takes on the big boys. Clare Gibson from the FBI and the Private Investigator Micah Love is hunting for pieces to the puzzle of who is involved i Betrayal High is the fifth book in the Zachary Blake Legal Thrillers, and Mark M. Bello again writes about topics that hit close to home. Kenny Tracey faces someone more harmful than the priest that abused him, but a fellow student who’s had enough and settles the school bullying with firearms. Out of fear for his son and a call for justice, Zack Blake takes on the big boys. Clare Gibson from the FBI and the Private Investigator Micah Love is hunting for pieces to the puzzle of who is involved in a murder. Will they find the clues needed to discover who was behind hiring the assassin who had Kenny in his cross hairs?   I love reading Mark M. Bello’s novels. He isn’t afraid to hit subjects that are uncomfortable. I don’t always like the stand that Zack takes. In this novel, I wished the side effects of bullying and neglect were pushed more, but that wasn’t the point of this novel. Overall, you will not find a legal thriller that is more intense and professional than by Bello. I am anticipating the next in this series, Supreme Betrayal.  

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Betrayal High by Mark M. Bello is the 5th in the Zach Blake series. While I have not read the first 4, I did not have any issues reading this one as a stand alone. A young man living with parents that pay no attention to him, a school where he doesn't fit in, and tormented by bullies. All leading to a school shooting that could have possibly been avoid if someone just cared enough. I enjoyed reading this book, although it was less about the high school shooting (maybe about 1/3 of the book) and Betrayal High by Mark M. Bello is the 5th in the Zach Blake series. While I have not read the first 4, I did not have any issues reading this one as a stand alone. A young man living with parents that pay no attention to him, a school where he doesn't fit in, and tormented by bullies. All leading to a school shooting that could have possibly been avoid if someone just cared enough. I enjoyed reading this book, although it was less about the high school shooting (maybe about 1/3 of the book) and more about gun laws and going after the gun company and other bad people. I also found 2 new quotes that I love. I am definitely going to have catch up with the series, and am looking forward to the next one. "There is no love without forgiveness and there is no forgiveness without love." - Bryant McGill "When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is far stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free." - Catherine Ponder Thank you to BookSirens for the free digital ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. All opinions are my own.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Keerthana N

    This is 5th book in Zachary Blake thriller series but it can be read as a standalone. the book is very engaging and deals with bullying and gun violence. there are two sides discussed-Kevin burns,the accused in gun violence. The book looks into his motive and the interaction between him and his attorney. the second side is lawyer zach and his civil suit to bring justice to the students,parents and teachers involved in the incident. The book is gripping and definitely recommend it! I got an ARC from B This is 5th book in Zachary Blake thriller series but it can be read as a standalone. the book is very engaging and deals with bullying and gun violence. there are two sides discussed-Kevin burns,the accused in gun violence. The book looks into his motive and the interaction between him and his attorney. the second side is lawyer zach and his civil suit to bring justice to the students,parents and teachers involved in the incident. The book is gripping and definitely recommend it! I got an ARC from Booksirens and leaving this review voluntarily.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sandie

    This book is very good except for being very in-depth in spots. I am not a detail kind of reader. When I started this the pages just reached out and grabbed me, I couldn't put it down! About a third of the way through, it started to get technical and to me a little boring. I understood these details had to be in there to understand what was going on so I plowed through and it was well worth it. It opened my eyes to things I didn't know before and made me think. I recommend Betrayal High to every This book is very good except for being very in-depth in spots. I am not a detail kind of reader. When I started this the pages just reached out and grabbed me, I couldn't put it down! About a third of the way through, it started to get technical and to me a little boring. I understood these details had to be in there to understand what was going on so I plowed through and it was well worth it. It opened my eyes to things I didn't know before and made me think. I recommend Betrayal High to everyone. It is THAT good!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Bone

    Kenny Tracey finds himself in the spotlight once again when a fellow classmate Kevin Burns walks into their high school and shoots and kills nine students and teachers and injured many more to include Kenny. Kenny was shot while stopping Kevin before he could get to his AK47. Kenny stepdad, Zack Blake will stop at nothing to find justice and change the rules about gun safety. Has Mr. Blake finally picked a battle he can not win and as he takes on the whole lot to include changing laws, banning g Kenny Tracey finds himself in the spotlight once again when a fellow classmate Kevin Burns walks into their high school and shoots and kills nine students and teachers and injured many more to include Kenny. Kenny was shot while stopping Kevin before he could get to his AK47. Kenny stepdad, Zack Blake will stop at nothing to find justice and change the rules about gun safety. Has Mr. Blake finally picked a battle he can not win and as he takes on the whole lot to include changing laws, banning guns, and the NRA. Mark M. Bello has hit it out of the park with his latest legal thriller Betrayal HIgh. I honestly had me in the first chapter and the face he allowed the character, Kevin, to survive the stand-off at the school as a complete bonus. You will find this to be easy to read the book, but it does cover some very hard truths. The fact he covers the death of children, school shootings, gun control, and the law in the first four chapters lets you know this is an emotionally charged book and is not for children. I did find parts of the story hard to read. The writing is well done and I can say nothing negative of the story-line. I just found myself crying a lot because of the emotional connection you feel for the characters. I actually even felt for the shooter Kevin,  everyone could see needed help and was offered none by anyone. A good book would be enjoyed by fellow legal thriller fans. Like I said before not an all age definitely adult level.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sizarifalina

    We cannot blame a person for a mass shooting. The whole community and the country need to take responsibility when one occurs. This is portrayed in Betrayal High. From this book I read about stories on how each and everyone who were involved in the mass shooting were trying their best to not take the blame and would do anything to blame others. No doubt that Betrayal High is fiction, but the author wrote it like it was a documentary based on true events. It was both entertaining and informative We cannot blame a person for a mass shooting. The whole community and the country need to take responsibility when one occurs. This is portrayed in Betrayal High. From this book I read about stories on how each and everyone who were involved in the mass shooting were trying their best to not take the blame and would do anything to blame others. No doubt that Betrayal High is fiction, but the author wrote it like it was a documentary based on true events. It was both entertaining and informative for me as I am from Malaysia. Owning a personal gun is illegal here. So there are near to zero mass shootings in schools. From this book I learned a lot about how a country takes mass shootings as a big problem or not. They relate it to mental illnesses. As a person with mental illnesses I can understand why these two are related. It is like a suicidal person with access to loads of psychiatric meds. Those meds are like weapons. The difference is that the meds would only harm the suicidal person but the weapons kill others. I could see how the company that manufactured the weapons, the school , the parents of the students who died, the parents of the shooter , the shooter’s father ...(the list goes on) are fighting for their rights and also discussing on how to tackle the issues in the book. It saddens me when I read how some of them can be very blunt and selfish. Bullying was also mentioned in the book. It could lead to mental health issues then later to a mass shooting. Kevin , the shooter has a lot of reasons to be angry which lead him to do what he did. This shows clearly that mental health is extreamely important especially in the 21st Century where everyone is judged no matter who they are. Being judged is extreamely painful and exhausting when one is just a teenager like Kevin - the odd one out!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Grady

    ‘You think I’m small? Maybe I am, but my gun is huge.’ Michigan author Mark M. Bello is an attorney and a justice advocate, having earned his BA in English Literature from Oakland University and his law degree form Thomas M. Cooley Law School. He spent forty years in the courtroom with high profile legal cases, and now offers his knowledge on his website Legal Examiner and Injury Board writing posts about safety, fairness and justice in the civil justice system. Mark consolidates his experiences ‘You think I’m small? Maybe I am, but my gun is huge.’ Michigan author Mark M. Bello is an attorney and a justice advocate, having earned his BA in English Literature from Oakland University and his law degree form Thomas M. Cooley Law School. He spent forty years in the courtroom with high profile legal cases, and now offers his knowledge on his website Legal Examiner and Injury Board writing posts about safety, fairness and justice in the civil justice system. Mark consolidates his experiences in this series of novels – THE ZACHARY BLAKE LEGAL THRILLERS, of which BETRAYAL HIGH is Book 5. One reason Mark M Bello’s legal thriller series is so absorbing is the manner in which he draws parallels to contemporary controversies. In this series Bello has tackled the Church and clergy sexual abuse, white supremacists and the President of the US, law enforcement, racism, and now gun control and school shootings. By now, those who follow the Zachary Blake legal thrillers know the primary characters and the unique mode of communicating a story line that make these books so memorable: the need for introductions is less important, but Bello adds new personnel in this volume and in doing so stirs even more reflective thoughts! The synopsis is a fine guide for this fast paced story – ‘Bloomfield, Michigan, an affluent Detroit area suburb, is home to trial lawyer Zachary Blake. Other school districts envy Bloomfield, that is, until Kevin Burns commits shocking, all too familiar, acts of senseless violence. In the aftermath of the tragedy, everyone wonders ‘why?’. Zack Blake seeks answers, justice for the victims, including his own son. How does a kid get a cache of weapons? The sellers are politically powerful and cover up their role in the bloodbath. The 2nd Amendment protects them, doesn’t it? And President Ronald John, Zack’s old nemesis, is a friend. Can powerful evildoers be brought to justice? Can Zack expose a dark web weapons conspiracy and the abuse of absolute political power in court? How does a broken community heal?’ And once again the story rings true, especially in view of contemporary news. After reading the first four volumes, the central character Zachary Blake is now a substantial legal hero, and the manner in which master craftsman Bello manipulates his character’s movement and development is a witness to both the depth of his legal knowledge and his eloquent prose. The language is appropriate for each character, and the manner in which the multiple characters interweave is mesmerizing. This legal thriller series is of the first caliber! Highly recommended.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mrs. Varela

    Betrayal High is Mark M. Bello’s fifth book in his Zachary Blake Betrayal series. The opening of the story dives right into the mind of a bullied high school student who has had enough. Kevin Burns has decided to end the bullying once and for all at any cost. The day he enters his high school armed and ready to kill using guns from his father’s gun cabinet has a lasting impact on the residents of Bloomfield, Michigan. Evil thoughts are ruling Kevin’s mind as he shoots his bullies and others who Betrayal High is Mark M. Bello’s fifth book in his Zachary Blake Betrayal series. The opening of the story dives right into the mind of a bullied high school student who has had enough. Kevin Burns has decided to end the bullying once and for all at any cost. The day he enters his high school armed and ready to kill using guns from his father’s gun cabinet has a lasting impact on the residents of Bloomfield, Michigan. Evil thoughts are ruling Kevin’s mind as he shoots his bullies and others who just happen to be in his pathway. Zachary Blake’s two stepsons attend the same high school and are in separate areas of the building as Kevin commits his crime. The oldest son, Kenny is shot just before law enforcement arrives. When Zach and the boys’ mother get the news, Zach becomes angry and the boy’s mother is distraught. Quickly going into lawyer mode, Zachary Blake wants answers. While all Kevin really wants is to teach people about how much bullying hurts emotionally and physically. Civil justice attorney Zachary Blake is soon engaged to represent Kenny and the families of the people Kevin killed and injured with a major lawsuit against the school department, the gun manufacturer, gun dealers, and Kevin’s parents for their neglect. As more details emerge events occur that reveal pure evil from characters who are greedy, narcissistic, and powerful that will go to no end to hide their misdeeds including the fictional president, Ronald John. As always, Bello reflects on real events in his stories making them relatable and thought-provoking. This story also becomes a testament to the younger generation becoming involved in change for the better good of this country. When you finish reading Betrayal High, I guarantee that you will be looking forward to reading the sixth book in this series.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Pegboard

    Betrayal High is the fifth book in the Zachary Blake Legal Thrillers, and Mark M. Bello again writes about topics that hit close to home. Kenny Tracey faces someone more harmful than the priest that abused him, but a fellow student who’s had enough and settles the school bullying with firearms. Out of fear for his son and a call for justice, Zack Blake takes on the big boys. Clare Gibson from the FBI and the Private Investigator Micah Love is hunting for pieces to the puzzle of who is involved i Betrayal High is the fifth book in the Zachary Blake Legal Thrillers, and Mark M. Bello again writes about topics that hit close to home. Kenny Tracey faces someone more harmful than the priest that abused him, but a fellow student who’s had enough and settles the school bullying with firearms. Out of fear for his son and a call for justice, Zack Blake takes on the big boys. Clare Gibson from the FBI and the Private Investigator Micah Love is hunting for pieces to the puzzle of who is involved in a murder. Will they find the clues needed to discover who was behind hiring the assassin who had Kenny in his cross hairs?   I love reading Mark M. Bello’s novels. He isn’t afraid to hit subjects that are uncomfortable. I don’t always like the stand that Zack takes. In this novel, I wished the side effects of bullying and neglect were pushed more, but that wasn’t the point of this novel. Overall, you will not find a legal thriller that is more intense and professional than by Bello. I am anticipating the next in this series, Supreme Betrayal.  

  22. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Ammons

    I am putting a disclaimer on this book that it could potentially contain triggers, especially for those folks who have been bullied. I think this book should be recommended reading for young people. This book tackles a big topic - that of bullying. It tells the story from the perspective of a young man who was bullied and the consequences his "abuse" had on his life, and touches on the relationship he had with his family. It tells the story of a strong family relationship, from the perspective o I am putting a disclaimer on this book that it could potentially contain triggers, especially for those folks who have been bullied. I think this book should be recommended reading for young people. This book tackles a big topic - that of bullying. It tells the story from the perspective of a young man who was bullied and the consequences his "abuse" had on his life, and touches on the relationship he had with his family. It tells the story of a strong family relationship, from the perspective of the lawyer who handled the case. While some parts of this book are quite "dry and boring," I think the story in its entirety comes together in the end. As a society, I think we need to do more to stop and somehow learn to prevent bullying and the consequences it can have. It is deep reading for sure. I commend Mr. Bello for tackling such a tough subject. (As a member of Book Sirens, I received a free advance review copy and am leaving this review voluntarily.)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tony Parsons

    2020, Kevin Burns is all alone in the house. Bloomfield, MI (Oakland County). Susan Burns (wife/mother) left for work, who knows where Charles Burns (husband/father) is. The gun cabinet keys are in Charles’ cigar box. That AK47 & the Luger look great. The AK47 is shoulder-strapped to his body, & the Luger is in his right hand. 110 S. classroom empty. 112 S. classroom is also empty. Kevin spies Drew coming down the hallway. BANG! BANG! Mr. Fletcher (shop teacher). BANG! BANG! Marwin Singleton (A/A) died 2020, Kevin Burns is all alone in the house. Bloomfield, MI (Oakland County). Susan Burns (wife/mother) left for work, who knows where Charles Burns (husband/father) is. The gun cabinet keys are in Charles’ cigar box. That AK47 & the Luger look great. The AK47 is shoulder-strapped to his body, & the Luger is in his right hand. 110 S. classroom empty. 112 S. classroom is also empty. Kevin spies Drew coming down the hallway. BANG! BANG! Mr. Fletcher (shop teacher). BANG! BANG! Marwin Singleton (A/A) died immediately, & Sam Bolton (A/A) died in-route to St. Joseph’s Hospital. Mrs. Culpepper (art teacher) will not teach again. The 6 art students were locked in the storage room. Jake & 15 other students are listening to Mrs. Clarke (English teacher). Jake texted Kenny. Bloomfield HS central lobby. Kevin sets the timer on the bomb for 4 minutes. 2 teachers & 3 students are gunned down. Kevin sees Kenny coming toward him & hoist the AK47 & fires, as Kenny slams into him full force the 2 boys tumble to the ground. Officer Alvarez (Bloomfield HS Security guard) & the Bloomfield PD SWAT team intervene. BOOM! The public would hear the Barrington Arms Corporation side of the story right away. Devon Harlan (ViewPoint TV news anchor host) was interviewing live Bloomfield HS students: Kenny Tracey, Alex Pratt, Jacqueline Corey, Emma Cohen, & Cameron Casey who have organized a political action group called the First Time Voters of America FTVA. Jennifer was on the Bloomfield PTA board. Keri Levin (PTA president) subject matter was student safety. Civil trial. Plaintiff: Zachary “Zack” Blake (husband/father, attorney) Bloomfield HS district would like the matter settled out of court. Defense: Roland “Rollie” Barrington III (Barrington Arms Corp. CEO); Jules Grimes (Grimes, Rhodes & Burke Sr. partner) represents Barrington Arms & various gun sellers; & Burl Tyner (Michwide homeowners insurance attorney). Jules could hope for a facilitative mediation. Orchard Lake Country Club (West Shore Dr.) W. Bloomfield township, Oakland County MI. Zack agrees to meet with Jules. An offer was made. Then came a counteroffer: Jules & the defendants are now offering binding arbitration & minimum-maximum settlement terms in exchange for a dismissal of the lawsuit & partial confidentiality. Barry Frazier is the sole mediator-facilitator-arbitrator. The cases of the Bloomfield School Shooting victims v. Kevin, Charles and Susan Burns, Bloomfield Schools, Roland Barrington, and Barrington Arms are officially over. Will the final offer be accepted by the other parties in behalf of Zack? Criminal trial. All rise. The District Court of Oakland County is now in session, The Honorable Judge Hugo Selik is presiding. State v Burns. Prosecution: ADA Karen Sprague Defense: Charles “Charlie” Barnes would be representing Kevin Burns (21, autism spectrum D/O). Susan Burns (wife/mother) & Charles Burns (45, husband/father) are there also. Kevin Burns would be required to plead guilty to 9 counts of 1st & 2nd degree murder. The charges could be reduced to voluntary manslaughter (15 yrs. consecutively) & multiple counts of assault with intent to kill. ADA Karen Sprague 1st witness is Dr. Elliot Spitz (psychiatrist, MD). What was the final verdict? BOOM! Cameron had been killed. FBI SA Clare Gibson (Detroit) & Detective Billy Ellington (Michigan PD) have been assigned to the bombing case. Detective Ellington met/gave Zack, & PI Micah Love (Love Investigations) an update. Roland is President Ronald John’s single largest contributor to his campaign trail. Will FBI SA Gibson & the ATF be able to file another criminal case on Roland Barrington, and Barrington Arms? I do not receive any type of compensation for reading & reviewing free books from publishers & authors. Therefore, I am under no obligation to write a positive review, only an honest one. Warning: This book contains descriptive accounts of extremely graphic adult content, violence, or expletive language &/or uncensored explicit material (racism, minor verbally, psychologically, emotionally physically abuse) which is only suitable for mature readers. It may be offensive or have potential adverse psychological effects on the reader. If you are especially sensitive to this type of material, it is strongly advised not to read any further. An awesome book cover, great font & writing style. A very professionally written Legal Thriller book. It was extremely easy for me to read/follow from start/finish & never a dull moment. There were no grammar/typo errors, nor any repetitive or out of line sequence sentences. Lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists/turns & a huge description list of unique characters, settings, facts etc. to keep track of. This could also make another great Legal Thriller movie, or better yet a mini TV series. There is no doubt in my mind this is an extremely easy rating of 5 stars. Thank you for the free author; 8Grand Publications; Goodreads; MakingConnections; Making Connections discussion group talk; PDF book. Tony Parsons MSW (Washburn)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Monica Reents

    Betrayal High is book 5 in the Zach Blake series and, like the previous 4 books, I gave it 5 stars! Each book in the series has had a main topic of discussion, for this book, it's bullying. This is such an important topic to discuss. I enjoy reading fictional stories that aren't afraid to broach real life subject matter and Mark M. Bello does this very well. His detailed writing carries the story forward and his characters bring it to life. I recommend this series to anyone who enjoys books with Betrayal High is book 5 in the Zach Blake series and, like the previous 4 books, I gave it 5 stars! Each book in the series has had a main topic of discussion, for this book, it's bullying. This is such an important topic to discuss. I enjoy reading fictional stories that aren't afraid to broach real life subject matter and Mark M. Bello does this very well. His detailed writing carries the story forward and his characters bring it to life. I recommend this series to anyone who enjoys books with suspense, drama, action, well-written characters, and interesting plots. A must read series!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Peggy

    What a story!!!!!! This book draws you in, it keeps you there and makes it hard to put down! THe author wrote this book so well that you feel as if you are there, as if you are watching every little thing that happens, every little thing that is said! This is a hard book that touches on a topic that we have faced in this world. Job well done writing this book!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sonia Discher

    The cover and title caught attracted me initially and I wanted to read the book. This is a subject that lots of people wonder about. When there are mass shootings in schools the first thing that comes to mind is "WHY"? The dialogue going on in Kevin's mind explains the why and how devastating bullying is and what damage it can do to an individual experiencing it. I loved the character Kenny too, the way he had survived bullying and other traumas but came back to try and stop the shooter becoming The cover and title caught attracted me initially and I wanted to read the book. This is a subject that lots of people wonder about. When there are mass shootings in schools the first thing that comes to mind is "WHY"? The dialogue going on in Kevin's mind explains the why and how devastating bullying is and what damage it can do to an individual experiencing it. I loved the character Kenny too, the way he had survived bullying and other traumas but came back to try and stop the shooter becoming the hero instead of a victim. Loved the story and will definitely read other stories from this author.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Belle

    I couldn't get through this. This book is politically driven and uses a high school shooting to enforce gun control. The focus is money and politics, not emotion or compassion. I also struggled to get into the writing style and couldn't jive with the main family at all. I really couldn't stand them and couldn't find them believable. This wasn't for me. *Free electronic copy received in exchange for an honest review I couldn't get through this. This book is politically driven and uses a high school shooting to enforce gun control. The focus is money and politics, not emotion or compassion. I also struggled to get into the writing style and couldn't jive with the main family at all. I really couldn't stand them and couldn't find them believable. This wasn't for me. *Free electronic copy received in exchange for an honest review

  28. 5 out of 5

    Arganise Campbell-Nash

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Betrayal High by Mark. M. Bello is an engaging thriller about a tragic school shooting at Bloomfield High School that resulted in several lawsuits and a movement for school safety. Kevin Burns planned the day on seeking revenge on his classmates and instructors that contributed to his miserable school experience. He was taunted, bullied, and unloved at home which made him believe he had nothing to lose. Kevin intended to carry out his mission flawlessly, but Kenny Tracey who is the stepson of bi Betrayal High by Mark. M. Bello is an engaging thriller about a tragic school shooting at Bloomfield High School that resulted in several lawsuits and a movement for school safety. Kevin Burns planned the day on seeking revenge on his classmates and instructors that contributed to his miserable school experience. He was taunted, bullied, and unloved at home which made him believe he had nothing to lose. Kevin intended to carry out his mission flawlessly, but Kenny Tracey who is the stepson of big-time lawyer Zachary Blake took him down before he could hurt anyone else. A trial begins and the reader starts to see the different personalities of everyone involved in the shooting. Kevin uses his spotlight as a school shooter to shed light on bullying. He implied that if something was done about the cruelty in Bloomfield High School, the nine students would be alive. Kenny was looked at as the hero in the situation. The way he secretly received praised and fan mail reminded me of the way women affectionately cared for Ted Bundy even though he was a murderer. The prologue was intense, which made me want to read more. The way Burns has the reader dive into the mind of Kevin Burns in a graphic way gave me chills. I was hooked to the book from the very first page. This real-world issue made my imagination run wild creating a number possibilities of how this story could end. Even though this story is fictional, I admired the way Mark M. Bello created this real-world issue into a story that can bring awareness. I was inspired by Kenny and how he used his spotlight as a hero to bring the community together against Bullying and Gun violence. He didn’t allow himself to be a victim, instead, he helped others even Kevin Burns. The characters are well developed so much so that Rolland Barrington instantly became my fictional enemy when I read about dirty dealings in the Black Market. I would’ve liked more insight from Kenny Tracey’s perspective since he was a major character in the novel. It would’ve helped to read about the change he intended to create from his perspective. I felt that novel focused more on the trials and investigation dealing with gun violence than the activism against bullying. The character development and building towards the plot were in the perfect placement of the story. Betrayal High is suspenseful, dramatic, and chilling and is recommended for all readers.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sol Tyty

    Wow, what a heart-stopping fifth installment of the Zachary Blake Legal Thriller Series! Trial lawyer, Zachary Blake, has performed some fascinating investigations on the Church and on the death of a black man in Michigan in previous books on this series. This time, he appears on scene again, but to bring relief to families and justice to a whole community which has undergone a terrible bloody episode perpetuated by a young character called Kevin Burns. Tired of being bullied, Burns decides to p Wow, what a heart-stopping fifth installment of the Zachary Blake Legal Thriller Series! Trial lawyer, Zachary Blake, has performed some fascinating investigations on the Church and on the death of a black man in Michigan in previous books on this series. This time, he appears on scene again, but to bring relief to families and justice to a whole community which has undergone a terrible bloody episode perpetuated by a young character called Kevin Burns. Tired of being bullied, Burns decides to pull the trigger of his father’s gun at school and leaves everyone asking themselves “why?”. I must admit I love books written in the form of dialogues, and this is actually the way Mark Bello has decided to pen Betrayal High. So, I could not help being hooked right from the very first page. By resorting to such a touchy theme as bullying and by choosing a simple narrative style, Bello has been able to develop a fiction which seems to be a real-life story due to the contemporary content of its thirty four chapters. He has employed the third person singular and has proven that his writing skill is on point. Another important ingredient of this book are the characters. Identifying with the characters is usually one of the reasons why readers love certain books more than others. In this particular case, the main characters and the supporting ones develop like people do in real life and that is one of the reasons why the story is so captivating. Betrayal High is directed to an adult audience, but I believe young adults and adolescents can also enjoy this gem as much as I did. It teaches lessons and allows readers to look at a matter which is, unfortunately, always in vogue from another perspective. Even though this tale belongs to a series, the plot is so well-constructed that it can be read as a standalone. It is definitely an entertaining read that should not be missed!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ivana S.

    This is a breathtaking and thought-provoking novel! “Betrayal High” written by Mark M. Bello is a book that contains thirty-four chapters full of action and tension. The story takes place in Michigan. It seems like a “normal” high school day for everyone but Kevin Burns, who has been subject of cruel school bullying, has other plans: he is carrying a handgun in one hand, a AK47 over his shoulder and a pressure bomb to take over all the bullies. Kenny Tracey, who is in his senior year, is a good This is a breathtaking and thought-provoking novel! “Betrayal High” written by Mark M. Bello is a book that contains thirty-four chapters full of action and tension. The story takes place in Michigan. It seems like a “normal” high school day for everyone but Kevin Burns, who has been subject of cruel school bullying, has other plans: he is carrying a handgun in one hand, a AK47 over his shoulder and a pressure bomb to take over all the bullies. Kenny Tracey, who is in his senior year, is a good and loyal friend and big brother. He had a tough life because his father passed away when he and his brother were little kids. Kenny knows he has to do something, so he tries to take Kevin’s weapons and achieves to stop him. Zachary Blake, Kenny’s step-dad, is a successful lawyer who is convinced to file a lawsuit to everyone involved in this case. Is he going to make it? The suspenseful elements of the plot of this book kept me engaged from the start of the book. Bellos’s writing style is a skill to be appreciated as the sentences are well crafted and enjoyable to read. In fact, he drops significant indicators that keep the suspense alive by referring to a back story. He strings past with present and gives the reader a visual inventory to decipher the tension. I think that the characters are perfectly well-drawn; they are normal people who have been through a lot and that makes it easy to emphasize with them. You can take notice of the mental, spiritual and emotional side of them. All in all, what struck me was the subject of the novel because it is something that happens nowadays all over the world. Teenagers are bullying targets and think that holding guns is the only way to take revenge for themselves. As a primary school teacher I’m very worried about this. I would recommend this book to adults but also to teens because everyone will find something to appreciate.

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